Avian malaria is a parasitic disease of birds, caused by parasite species belonging to the genera Plasmodium and Hemoproteus (phylum Apicomplexa, class Haemosporidia, family Plasmoiidae). The disease is transmitted by a dipteran vector including mosquitoes in the case of Plasmodium parasites and biting midges for Hemoproteus. The range of symptoms and effects of the parasite on its bird hosts is very wide, from asymptomatic cases to drastic population declines due to the disease, as is the case of the Hawaiian honeycreepers. The diversity of parasites is large, as it is estimated that there are approximately as many parasites as there are species of hosts. Co-speciation and host switching events have contributed to the broad range of hosts that these parasites can infect, causing avian malaria to be a widespread global disease, found everywhere except Antarctica.